03.26.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Trading Systems Aim To Bridge Silos

Trading platforms are being upgraded to support the development and execution of algorithms, and to bridge the silos in which trading, risk management and operations teams exist.

“There’s been reinforcement of trends that we had been seeing before last year, including the need for additional collaboration between traders and other users within the firm,” Jonathan Morton, vice-president of product management at IPC Systems, told Markets Media.

IPC’s Unigy is a unified trading communications and applications platform for management and controls all communication needs that emanate from the trading floor, internal users and counterparties.

“It’s a unified trading, communications and applications platform,” said Morton. “It’s designed to broaden communications between the trading floor and off-floor people such as analysts, portfolio managers and risk and compliance.”

Compliance officers, for example, “can have instant access to hoot-and-holler conferences, which enables compliance to be involved at the beginning of a trade, not just at the end”, Morton said.

Trading Technologies, a provider of software for professional derivatives traders, has launched ADL, a visual programming platform that allows traders and programmers to design, test and deploy custom automated trading programs without writing code. ADL is integrated with the latest version of X_Trader (7.11), Trading Technologies’ flagship trading system.

What distinguishes ADL from other visual programming systems is the clarity with which the blocks of code have been defined.

“Lots of general purpose systems exist which have visual components, but you need to write code in order to determine the relationships between blocks,” Rick Lane, chief technology officer at Trading Technologies, told Markets Media. “What we’ve accomplished with ADL is to provide a level of resolution such that every block of code is unambiguous.”

Algo Strategy Engine, launched in conjunction with ADL, provides the ability to deploy and run custom algorithms developed using ADL through X_Trader.

“ADL is being tightly coupled with X_Trader, which enables algos to be developed and deployed using the same architecture,” Tom Haldes, senior product manager at Trading Technologies, told Markets Media.

IPC has 17 sites and more than 400 positions live using the product. Before the end of the calendar quarter, it expects to have almost 40 sites and about 1,000 positions. A major global bank has committed to equip a 500+ position trading floor with Unigy, according to IPC.

The system represents a further broadening of IPC’s product strategy as it morphs from a provider of trading turrets to a provider of hardware and software to support electronic trading.

“We’ve expanded to provide network services for voice and data connectivity and with Unigy we are providing a platform that combines communications and application development,” said Morton at IPC Systems.

Unigy was implemented this year at the new London headquarters of derivatives dealer SMBC Nikko Capital Markets “to deliver on our current and future unified trading communications objectives”, according to Kevin Clarke, senior vice-president of SMBC Nikko Capital Markets.

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